Homeowner Story: Finding solutions on Home Energy Hub
CEE rolled out its new residential energy resources website in June. Since then, Home Energy Hub has had 1,380 visitors who looked at an average of 47 pages a day, learning about what energy efficiency looks like at home. To continue celebrating Energy Awareness Month, we’d like to show you just how useful Home Energy Hub can be with an illustrative (and fictional) story.
Part One: Keep your cool
Let’s set the scene: It’s mid-summer, blazing hot, and you just finished moving into your new house. You’re gazing around at the sea of boxes to unpack, sipping a cooling lemonade, when you hear a mechanical sputtering noise behind you. As you investigate, you look out the dining room window — and there’s the problem. Your central AC unit grinds to a halt. Within minutes, you and your loved ones can feel the sweltering heat. What do you do?
Since you’re a savvy homeowner, you head over to Home Energy Hub! You pull up the page on replacing your central air conditioner, and browse through the information. You learn about the efficiency ratings you should look for in a new unit, types of refrigerant that are being phased out of use, and the possible costs of replacement. Before you know it, you’re making a call to a contractor, confident on what to ask for in a new efficient unit that will keep your home comfortable in hot and humid Minnesota summers.
Part Two: Window woes
It’s a few months later, and Minnesota is in the depths of its brutal winter. Things have been calm since the incident with the condensation, and you are stretched out on an armchair in the living room with a book and cup of tea. But you’re barely a page into your book when a sudden breeze steals your focus. Where is it coming from? You look to the side and see that the draft came from the window. Your first thought is about how expensive getting your windows replaced is. With so many other unexpected expenses, how will you plan for that as well?
You decide to explore your options. And of course, Home Energy Hub has all the info you need to make an informed decision! You find the perfect page — What to Do About Drafty Windows — and begin your research. You learn that the windows themselves may not be the root of the problem, since many leaks and drafts can be addressed by air sealing and insulating your walls and attic. After exploring the topic some more, you decide to make a call to your utility to see if home energy audits are offered in your area — a major step toward a fuller understanding of your home’s areas for energy improvement.
Part Three: Wetness on the walls
Flash forward a couple months to the spring. You’ve unpacked and settled in, and things seem to be going smoothly. Then one night, as you’re getting ready to go to bed, you notice something — why is the bedroom wall shiny? As you look closer, you see that there are tiny beads of water dripping down the walls. Oh no!
Back to the Home Energy Hub! You open the page on managing indoor humidity and preventing condensation, and learn about how too much added moisture in your home can damage walls and how mold can grow easily on these damaged surfaces. You also read about one of the key factors to preventing moisture build-up: ventilation. Further exploration on the site arms you with the information you need to call contractors and determine the best solution to your condensation problem.
Your tale of homeowner distress is over for now — and you’re comforted to know that when issues arise in the future, Home Energy Hub is there to offer trustworthy information and advice from energy experts.
Energy efficiency plays into our lives in many unexpected ways. We are thrilled to have created Home Energy Hub as a reliable, research-backed resource available for homeowners, but if you ever have a more specific question or need to dive deeper, CEE’s free Energy Advisor Service is ready to help you find a solution.
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